Parish Clerk’s Report for July/August 2017
by Wickhambrook Parish Clerk
Annual Parish Council Meeting
The meeting took place on 25 May and I am able to confirm the Chairman for the forthcoming year is Councillor Paul Couzens, to be supported by Vice Chairman, Councillor Kate Sammons. The Parish Council Estates committee was re-elected and the representatives who risk assess areas in the village on a regular basis, such as the playgrounds and greens, have all agreed to continue with their responsibilities.
The photograph shows Chairman Couzens with the certificate presented for the Local Council Award Scheme Foundation Level and this is a good opportunity to remind all readers of The Scene that the eight elected Parish Councillors and four Lay Members of the Estates Committee give up their time on an entirely voluntary basis. They attend meetings and visit areas around the Parish undertaking inspections and checks and this is all done in a professional manner which the award is testament to. The financial records are inspected each quarter by Vice Chairman Sammons, who has a background in finance and also does a final check before the year end figures are presented to the internal auditor.
All the meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend, with no requirement to give notice of your attendance.
Litter Pick 9 July 10 a.m. – meet front of hall.
‘Lit Pic’, modern sounding I know but it is in fact our traditional summer litter pick to help round up those stray pieces of litter that escaped the eagle eyes of the Wickhambrook Carnival Committee members at the end of the event taking place the day before. We will also be covering all other areas of the village and if you can spare just one hour of your time please come to the MSC Hall foyer at the earlier start time of 10 a.m.
The Farmer’s Market should be in full swing at the end of the ‘pic’ at 11 a.m. giving a further two hours to peruse the stalls and visit the café – sounds good to me and I am already going!
Annual Parish Meeting report from 18 May
In addition to the usual reports from the Chairman, Chair of the Estates Committee and financial report from the Clerk, reports were presented by members of the History Society, W.I. Group, Youth Football Team and Wickhambrook School which made for a very entertaining and enjoyable evening. Written reports had been submitted by the MSC Hall Trustees, Bowls Club and the Police which were handed out to those who attended the meeting and referred to by the Chairman. The reports covered the activities and successes of the last twelve months and all had an extremely interesting content. I have hard copies of the reports on file which I would be happy to scan and send if anyone would like to read a particular report. Please send your request to
The photo shows Mrs Maggie Elers, the recipient of the Alf Hicks Biscuit Barrel award 2017.
Maggie has given time and effort to worthwhile causes and events in the village over many years. To name but a few: she has helped run a playgroup, was a member of the Community Association helping to run village events such as the firework display and helped organise dances raising money for the village hall. Maggie has made costumes for the Wickhambrook Players pantomime and carol concerts and most recently is a stalwart member of the Carnival Committee, reviving this annual event which has proved to be an ongoing success every summer.
Maggie was the unanimous choice by the Parish Council for the award this year and the photograph shows Chairman Paul Couzens with Maggie who will hold the Biscuit Barrel for twelve months and have her name added to the list of previous worthy holders of the award.
The presentation was made at the Annual Parish Meeting on 18 May 2017.
Memorial Garden Update
As shown in the previous edition of The Scene the memorial garden is beginning to take shape. A laurel hedge is planned for the rear of the garden to make a screen providing privacy for the scattering of ashes area. The main pathway from the chapel will be lined with a yew hedge offsetting the iron crosses, previously used to mark the graves in the old area of the cemetery, that have lain unseen in the chapel for many years. Finally a beech hedge will mark the scattering of ashes quiet section where a bench will be placed.
Thanks must go to Vice Chairman Sammons who has purchased hundreds of bare root plants to bring on in pots over the summer months, this has saved an enormous amount of the planting allocation from the grant. The Parish Council has now been able, with the permission of Tesco Groundworks, to incorporate important renovation and decoration works on the chapel as part of the scheme. These works will take place this summer and the chapel will be looking fit to form the backdrop to the garden.
Three hardwood benches need to be purchased for different areas which will be placed on concrete pads and secured. The benches need to be of sufficient quality to last for many years and will cost in the region of £400 to £500 each. If you would be interested in purchasing a bench in memory of a loved one please email , a brass plaque could also be supplied as a lasting commemoration of a person or family members.
Bury Road Playground
The Bury Road playground now has a new litter bin which can also be used for dog waste. The Parish Council obtained permission from Havebury Housing Association to site the bin at the entrance to the playground ensuring that not only playground users but dog walkers can also access this additional facility. There have been reports of dog fouling in and around this area and up until now there was no access to a bin nearby but now there is absolutely no excuse not to ‘bag it and bin it’!
VAS Update – speeding in the village
Thanks to the sterling work of Cllr Barton there have been sightings of Police speed camera vans in the village. Cllr Barton moves the machine from site to site (these can only be where the specially erected poles are in place following a survey from the traffic department at Suffolk County Council), downloading the data each time and presenting it in an agreed form to the Police. After many months a working relationship has been formed and depending on the speeds recorded the Police have attended the village performing speed checks. This is an issue that affects all residents in the village and the Parish Council is committed to the Vehicle Activated Signs providing the necessary data to trigger a Police presence. Currently the sign, originally supplied by County Cllr Mary Evans, is used on a share basis with Lidgate and although Wickhambrook is to continue with this scheme it has also been agreed to purchase a machine solely for use in Wickhambrook using Parish Council funds. The area surrounding the school will remain a priority but with this VAS addition other sites in the village will be subject to a survey and if deemed suitable, poles will be placed ready for VAS use. All of this is good news for the village but will entail a much increased workload for Cllr Barton who has agreed to continue this task for the next twelve months. Another example of how the Parish Councillors are working for the benefit of the whole parish.
Recent Planning Applications
Recent planning applications considered by the Parish Council over the last eight weeks.
DC/17/0189/LB Rolfes Farm, The Duddery. Structural repairs of outbuilding listed building.
DC/17/0215/HH Giffords Hall, Giffords Lane. Open air courtyard including pavilion. Approved
DC/17/0210/FUL Wickhambrook Primary School. New timber buildings to provide two
DC/16/1395/FUL Genesis Green Stud. 4 flats. Approved
DC/17/0196/FUL Boyden End House. 1 equestrian workers dwelling. Approved
Dates of next meetings
The dates for the next two meetings on Thursdays are 27 July and 31 August. The next Estates committee meeting will be held on Thursday 10 August. All meetings begin at 7.30 p.m.